Multiple Proposals on Assault in Military, but Also Disagreement
Published: May 15, 2013
“WASHINGTON — President Obama, military officials and lawmakers on Capitol Hill are in broad agreement that the sexual assault problem in the military has reached a level of severity that can no longer be tolerated. But that is far different from concurring on how it should be fixed.
After a Pentagon finding that an estimated 26,000 assaults took place last year, a flurry of legislative proposals — seeking changes to the way prosecution decisions are made and how records of sex-crime accusations are kept and perhaps requiring automatic dishonorable discharges for anyone convicted of sexual assault, among other things — is flowing through Capitol Hill, some at cross purposes. Also on Thursday, Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand, the New York Democrat who has made this her signature issue this year, will introduce legislation that would give military prosecutors rather than commanders the power to decide which sexual assault cases to try. Ms. Gillibrand’s goals are to increase the number of people who report crimes without fear of retaliation and to give legal power to military prosecutors. “
The male dominated culture, during the prime of my IT corporate career during the 70’s & 80’s, was really tough on women who demonstrated excellent leadership qualities and aspired to make a difference…. Most organizations, including sales and marketing, were populated by men who started careers in the military in a male dominated culture learning the trades. Women were often considered targets for play rather than team members who would later beat guys at their own game…big time. I was the average male during my career and behaved at times in ways that were unacceptable and got away with it. As my career advanced and leadership was the focus, it was clear that we needed to behave differently. I started recruiting talented women into the sales and marketing organization in my company. It was easy to see that these aspiring young women were highly intelligent, hard workers, and our customers loved them. The women who worked for me got results. They re-defined the way we started building better relationships with customers and internally to orchestrate the sales cycle with outcomes that showed male peers that they needed to step up. Professional women during my career experience raised the bar and standards of excellence…
But the the harassment culture continued to be a challenge. We put in place “no tolerance” policies and started firing executives for starters. We replaced male executives with our top producers and talent from the female ranks. We started to change the culture over time. It was no longer a competition of getting attention with the attractive young ladies who were coming in…it became a culture of getting results. It was never perfect during my career, but the testosterone problem was fixed for the most part at least during the working hours… I was very proud of the excellent women on my team and other teams during that time. We really got the job done and became great friends and team players… We had to fire people to change… We became more professional in every way…